On 25 May 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on: • in-depth reviews by the Commission of macroeconomic imbalances in 19 member states; • implementation of its 2015 country-specific recommendations on economic and fiscal policies under the "European Semester", the EU's annual policy monitoring process.
The Council underscored the need for policy action and strong commitment to structural reforms in all member states. This is particularly the case when facing macroeconomic imbalances that affect the smooth functioning of the euro area. The conclusions emphasise that imbalances should be addressed in a durable manner. The focus should be on key challenges, reducing risks, facilitating economic rebalancing and creating the conditions for sustainable growth and jobs.
Reform implementation has been uneven across policy areas and between member states. Only in a few cases has substantial progress been made in addressing the country-specific recommendations issued in 2015. The Council highlighted therefore the need for implementation to be stepped up to address the policy challenges.
The in-depth reviews and country-specific recommendations are part of the "European Semester", the EU's annual policy monitoring process. The in-depth reviews assess macroeconomic imbalances in 19 member states; in each case, they determine whether an imbalance exists and whether it can be considered excessive.
The 2016 European Semester will conclude with the adoption of new country-specific recommendations in July.
The conclusions were adopted at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Council.
Council conclusions on macroeconomic imbalances and on implementation of country-specific recommendations